MPP says son arrested, other son Tased after mask-wearing dispute in Perth, Ont.

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An eastern Ontario MPP says one of his sons was arrested Friday night and another hit with a stun gun following a dispute in a Perth, Ont., bar over COVID-19 masks.

Randy Hillier, the independent MPP for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, said one son was charged with public intoxication and the other was Tasered but not arrested, according to a letter he tweeted Saturday and addressed to Ontario Provincial Police commissioner Thomas Carrique.

Hillier said their drinking companion was "highly agitated" after being asked to leave the establishment for not wearing a mask, and his sons were attempting to "de-escalate" the situation.

He also tweeted that his sons told the bar's owner that their friend had a mask exemption.

OPP confirmed that a stun gun was discharged during the arrests, which occurred outside a bar on Foster Street at around 10:30 p.m.

The bar owner had asked police for help removing "two to three" people who were reportedly not wearing COVID-19 masks, according to an email from OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson.

While one person left voluntarily, others had to be escorted out.

Became 'assaultive'

Once outside, some of the people involved in the dispute refused to leave and became "assaultive," according to a media release from the Lanark OPP detachment.

The stun gun was fired once during the arrests, Dickson said, and two men were charged with public intoxication.

Neither the men arrested nor the OPP officers were injured, he added.

"Business owners may request that patrons leave their premises and can request police assistance if patrons fail to do so under the Trespass to Property Act," Lanark OPP said in their release.

Hillier, who has sat as an independent since being kicked out of the Progressive Conservative party's caucus in 2019, has voiced his opposition to COVID-19 masks in the past, likening the pandemic to a "bad flu season."

CBC has reached out to Hillier for comment but has not yet heard back.

Perth is located within the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, which is currently in the green level on the province's colour-coded COVID-19 response scale.